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Shanti Charan on a comedian's responsibility to both teach and entertain

Ryan Johnson, recropped and resized
Comedian Shanti Charan

Stand-up comedian Shanti Charan won Best Comedian of 2016 in the SF Bay Guardian’s annual Best of the Bay write-up, but she still feels like she’s working towards her best material.

A Bay Area native, Shanti has been balancing stand-up comedy with part-time work, as well as writing and producing her web series called Mixing Masala. It's a cooking show featuring guest comics and her dog Bernie. Charan spoke about what a changing Bay Area means for her audience, and what she feels the role of a comedian should be.

CHARAN: I absorb learning things so much more when I'm having fun while learning them.

Charan will be performing at JJ’s Blues in San Jose on Saturday and at Cobb's Comedy Club in San Francisco this Sunday, as part of the Outsourced Comedy Tour.

Jen Chien was the managing editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News from 2016 to 2018. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.